Monday, November 23, 2015

When Cookies Keep You On Track

The alternative to a vacation is to stay home and tip every third person you see. ~Author Unknown
Sometimes, all I yearn for is a day to myself at home: nowhere to be, no one to bother me, just me and my hobbies and a warm place to sit. For me, that is the best kind of day off.

I also secretly yearn to watch daytime television, but I don't know if I'm just getting older or TV is just getting worse, but the squak box just disappointed me today. It's just a reminder that there are better things to do with one's time, I suppose. It would've been better if Oprah was still on... but I digress...

It's a cool, rainy, and possibly slushy day out there. I got up this morning and went to the gym like a good girl, and after I came home and took a shower, I made myself a cup of coffee and started a batch of Guinness and beef stew in the slow cooker. It's a perfect meal for a day like this. I loved watching the ingredients going in as I washed and chopped:


It's also a good excuse for using some of the fresh rosemary that our landlord planted in our front garden. I went out and cut it and stripped it straight into the pot, freshly washed by the rain. Our landlord spoils us, you know: they planted the garden, and they come over and weed it for us. They sweep the parking lot, salt the steps if it's icy, clean the gutters, give me free plants for the back garden. I don't know if I can live anywhere else now.


While the stew bubbled away in the slow cooker, I kept myself occupied with my current sweater project. I keep falling in and out of love with it. I'm loving the colour of it, which reminds me of the lillies in the bouquet of flowers my family sent me for my birthday last week:


I'm modifying Bristol Ivy's Svalbard to have a more traditional raglan front. It was a good choice to switch to this yarn. The tone and shade of the rose colour is really showing off the definition of the cartridge rib. I'm a bit worried about it, though. It's so brilliantly designed that it seems a sacrilege to mess with it, and I'm unsure if my modifications will give me the result I want. Thus, I knit a few rows, loving the look of it, then I knit the next few rows, worried that it will look really awful in the end. This is a true test of trusting my instincts:


My stitch markers are keeping a smile on my face, though. The sweater is knit in one piece from the neck downwards, and has a lot of things going on at the same time. I chose the markers carefully to help me keep track of where I am. From the edges to the Oreo markers are the fronts:


Between each Oreo and the macaroon are the sleeve stitches:


Between the two macaroons are the back stitches. And then, between those two markers are two jade snail shells, which are marking a chevron stitch pattern:


If your cookies and macaroons can't keep you right, well, there's clearly something wrong in the world.

I have the whole week off this week. So far, the first day is making me feel like a child with a bag of sweets... eagerly savouring each one, but looking carefully, almost anxiously, at how many I have left. I'm so grateful to have these days that I don't want to squander a single moment. On Thursday, we are going to Victoria for a couple of nights for a change of scenery, which I am also looking forward to.

I'm still hanging on tightly to every moment at home. Tomorrow, I have a couple of appointments, but I'm looking forward to coming back to the couch to knit and drink tea and nap. It's not glamorous, but it's perfect right now.

The stew is almost ready. Must be off. Have a lovely week!

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